Singapore's economy is not only the most open in the world, it is also the 7th least corrupt, the lowest taxed and is governed by laws that have been rated the most pro-business in the world. Given all these factors, it is easy to see why the Singaporean markets continue to soar and why so much foreign money pours through its companies. If you are looking to make the most out of this powerful and influential economy, then it is worth learning about what drives it. Here we look at the most prominent industries in Singapore.
With millions upon millions of foreign visitors coming to Singapore every year, it is no shock to find out just how important tourism is to the economy. In fact, it is the biggest service sector in the state and is estimated to rake in about $30 million in 2015. What makes Singapore such a trap for tourists? Well, alongside its rich history, it fascinating clash of Chinese, Malay, Indian, Arab and Western cultures and it stunning conservation sites, it also has a glorious climate and some wonderful beaches. Business travellers also make up a huge percentage of the 17 million odd arrivals that come to the island each year, while retail and medical tourism are both also on the rise. Among the big names brands associated with Singaporean tourism are Singapore airlines (voted best airline in the world), Shangri-La hotels and Changi Airport (voted the world's best airport).
Given the free-flowing nature of its economy it was inevitable that the financial sector would feature on this list. Singapore's banks, wealth management firms and lenders are some of the most important business engines of South East Asia. Thanks to the extremely pro-business nature of its laws and its superbly gifted multicultural workforce, the island attracts tons and tons of investment and many of the world's biggest companies have money here. International trading takes place right around the clock, 24/7.
One of Singapore's most rapidly growing industries over the last decade or so, construction now sits at the top table as one of the economy's pillars. Its expansion has been quite remarkable to witness: in the year 2007 it grew a whopping 20% and has not stopped since. With shopping malls, casinos, hotels, apartments and much, much more being planned for the next year, it is only likely to get bigger.
The island of Singapore is now one of the world's most important centres for bio-medical progress. Key research and development projects are constantly being done here, while production and manufacturing of medical goods and the provision of medical services are also massive areas of growth. One indicator of the sector's rapid expansion is MerLion Pharmaceuticals, who received a Scrip award as the Best Company in an Emerging Market.
Singapore is the world's most powerful hub for logistics services, according to the World Bank. The importance of this factor cannot be overstated, as it allows Singapore a huge influence in the global business community, as companies across the world rely on its logistics innovations. The island is home to Asia's most important logistics education centre, The Logistics Institute Asia Pacific.